Thursday, February 14, 2019

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris

The Adoring Angela Lansbury Blogathon is an event celebrating the life and career of the actress, hosted by Realweegiemidget Reviews. For a list of participating bloggers visit the link at the host site.

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris
YouTube viewing

Is it wrong of me to think of Angela Lansbury as a television actress? Sure, she has a long and distinguished career in film, not to mention on stage, but for someone who grew up when I did, I can't help but think of her, not as the young, curvy starlet from films like Gaslight and National Velvet, or the middle-aged thespian from The Manchurian Candidate and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, but as the old lady who solves murder mysteries every week on CBS.

Time has treated Murder, She Wrote well. As recently as last year, Angie still gets interviewed about the series, which runs in syndication. A reboot of the show without her was deemed not a good idea after all, and though she says she'd like to return to Cabot Cove one more time, who knows if that'll happen?

I was only a sporadic watcher of MSW during its initial run, too young to fully appreciate it yet drawn to the character of Jessica Fletcher. Maybe it was the episodic format of the show, without any season-long story arcs which seem to be de rigueur these days. Maybe it was the inherent goodness of Jessica, who was the furthest thing from an anti-hero. (Someone should make a statue of her!)

Though I never stuck with it, I remember MSW as a popular show and Jessica as a beloved character. (NFL football fans will remember the way CBS Sports announcer Pat Summerall would dramatically say the show's title when reading the promo during a break in the game.)

Apologies for not posting a picture
of Diana Rigg on this blog much sooner.

Getting back to Angie as a TV actress: she's actually done a whole lotta television, dating back to the old anthology series from the 50s, as well as a lot of TV movies, including four MSW ones.

Today's subject, Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris, is one of those TV movies. She made it during her MSW run. Based on a series of books, it's about a poor maid who really, really, REALLY wants a dress by Christian Dior.

That's it! Of course, it's not just about the dress, it's about what it represents: elegance, class, a chance to look glamorous for once in her life — and because she's a good person (xenophobic attitudes aside), she gets it in the end, and helps out other people along the way, including Diana Rigg and Omar Sharif. It's predictable, but very sweet. A pleasant way to pass the time.

Angie is still active as of this writing. She had a small role in Mary Poppins Returns earlier this winter, and she has performed on stage as recently as 2017. It's a cliche, but in her case, it's true: she is an inspiration and a treasure.

Films with Angela Lansbury:


  1. There's an Angela Lansbury for everybody; the theatre buff, the classic movie buff, the Disney kid, the TV fan, and the cozy mystery lovers.

    When I was in high school her tour of Mame came to Toronto, and as recently as two years ago, Garry, Janet and I saw her in Blithe Spirit when it played here.

    When Gavin was younger, and beginning his career as tyrant of the television, whenever he heard the theme to Murder, She Wrote he would mutter under his breath "Mommy's turn. Mommy's turn."

    1. Lovely comment - couldnt not like this.. wheres the like button

    2. I think Paddy knows you liked it. :-)

  2. LOL! That's funny.

    I could easily see her as Mame. Bet she was real good in it.

  3. Oh my, I haven't seen this one in years! MSW I watch everyday, so it's about time to revisit Mrs. 'Arris. It is amazing how long a career Angela has had - and she keeps on going!

  4. Lovely warm tribute to my blogathons leading lady, thanks for bringing Mrs Arris to the blogathon (and Gaslight).

  5. Thank you. Hadn't talked about her much before this.

  6. Thanks to this blog-a-thon, I just discovered your blog, so I can't chastise you for "Taking so long to post a picture of Diana Rigg." But I will tell you that Emma Peel from "The Avengers" was an important part of my puberty.

    Great stuff. I'll certainly be back.

  7. I was never a huge fan of THE AVENGERS, but I've seen enough pics of Diana Rigg to be a fan of hers!


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